THE bypass between Rainford and Ormskirk claimed another two lives in June.

A young motorcyclist died after hitting a lamppost on the roundabout at the West Lancs end of the bypass just beyond the M58. More tragic floral tributes were laid at the roadside mourning a much-loved gran killed in a collision at the notorious St Helens Road / Mill Lane junction.

Then four women were injured in another smash on the opposite side of the same junction a couple of days later.

What makes this 5.8 mile stretch of road such a hellish blackspot? From Windle Island it’s a long, almost straight highway punctuated by three roundabouts before ending at Bickerstaffe Island... but with several problematic junctions.

Many drivers frequently flout the dual speed limits of 40 and 60mph. And we’re not just talking boy racers. It’s parents late for getting kids to school, delivery vans trying to beat the clock or folks who simply don’t bother checking the speedo.

Villagers have been complaining for years about bikers using the road as a racetrack, especially on Wednesday nights. Nothing has been done to tackle this. At other times the bypass can seem like the set of Fast and Furious.

There was a case of speeding in France recently, where the gendarmes trapped a guy doing 60kph in a 40kph zone. They gave him a hefty fine on the spot and confiscated his car.

Perhaps one for our police to consider!

The worst junction is at Mill Lane which has changed so much over the years as the nearby industrial estate has expanded plus there’s a popular golf venue with its entrance just down from the junction.

Coming from Windle Island the junction is obscured by a crest until the final couple of hundred yards… with no signs warning of the hazard ahead drivers turning left up in the direction of the Bottle and Glass often have to often slow down rapidly, causing following vehicles to shuffle into the outer lane.

In the outer lane there may be HGVs, and other industrial estate traffic turning right, often making vehicles move back to the inside lane.

Drivers crossing over from Mill Lane to turn right across the central reservation are often obscured by lorries heading in the opposite direction. All too often drivers will put their foot down to try to slip into the right hand lane at high speed, causing other motorists to slam on.

It’s just as perilous on the other side.

In the short term a sequence of prominent blackspot warning signs should be positioned in the run up to the junction warning people how many lives have been lost and how many people have been injured over the last 20 years. The ultimate solution will probably have to be traffic lights…especially if plans for new houses ever go ahead.

One thing is sure, inaction on the part of the authorities is not acceptable any longer. Surely there has to be a way to provide effective safety measures and warnings to conscientious drivers, while making it clear to the speedsters that they will not be tolerated.

I pray somebody in authority gets the message this time, or we can expect more flowers at the roadside.

Observer, name and address submitted